Gold Coast Permaculture Workshops – May/June 2012

Honey from a home made extractor

1) Sunday 27th May, 2012 1:30pm: Gold Coast Permaculture Bee Keeping Equipment Workshop

This workshop will bring to you the home handywoman’s answer to excruciatingly expensive bee keeping, showing equipment put together by Syd Richards, the bee keeping mentor to Gold Coast Permaculture. Syd has a range of home-made equipment he would like to introduce to you including heated comb cutters, wiring and frame construction equipment and a honey extractor. This equipment will be on display at the workshop.

You will go away from this workshop with a very practical understanding of how to put this equipment together from bits and pieces around the place – most probably available from the local tip shop.

The afternoon session will be a very practical introduction to standard bee keeping equipment and also, you will be shown just how to go about robbing a hive – providing it is a nice sunny afternoon. Bees hate being disturbed on an overcast day and even prodigious use of a smoker is not going to keep them from being very upset in such weather. The hive is such a wonderful piece of work that if you have never seen inside one before, you will be totally amazed.

It may be wise to bring a bit of mosquito netting over a hat that you can tie around your neck in order to protect yourself against any unforseen accidents. Otherwise, observing from a small distance is not a problem. If you have any allergy problems, please ensure you bring appropriate medication.

You will truly enjoy this afternoon of practical bee keeping.

Bookings via the Gold Coast Permaculture website at or contact us at info (at)

2) Saturday 2nd June, 2012 10am: Gold Coast Permaculture Cheese Making Workshop

Cheese is way of preserving milk for long periods of time. In the process, the milk in cheese becomes something completely unlike milk, but cheese has its own interesting and delicious properties. Cheese-making is a long and involved process that makes use of bacteria, enzymes and naturally formed acids to solidify milk proteins and fat and preserve them. Once turned into cheese, milk can be stored for months or years.

The cheese-making workshop will cover the basics of cheese making including sterilisation and sourcing of required inputs. A simple farm cheddar and a feta will be made for the class and a pre-pressed cheddar will be introduced for the purpose of demonstrating the waxing method.

Cheese tastings will also be provided of feta, haloumi and ricotta cheeses and recipe handouts will be provided at the workshop.

Come along and enjoy the pleasures of tasting home-made cheese and the self-satisfaction of learning how to make it yourself from ingredients that are available to us all locally.

Bookings via the Gold Coast Permaculture website at or contact us at info (at)

Greg Plevey’s Worm Farming Workshop, 5 May 2012

3) Saturday 2nd June, 2012 11:30 am: Gold Coast Permaculture Soil Biology and Bio-Pest Control Workshop

This workshop brings you the expertise of Wormtec’s Greg Plevey working on the needs of soil and the wonderful life contained within. In every tea spoon of soil there should be millions of bacteria and other life beavering away to make your plants prosper. If they are not there then our soil is lacking in the most basic ability to ensure our plants are receiving the nutrition they need. This is what occurs when pesticides and herbicides are utilised — all the life within is killed. Without the biology the soil is essentially just a medium in which to stand the plants and then the system falls over.

Greg will also go into the nitty gritty of bio-pest control and keeping your plants healthy and almost immune from attack. Remember the odd hole here and there is actually good for you as it is understood organic plants produce salicylates particularly as protection against insect attack. Spraying with fungicides and insecticides actually inhibits the production of salicylates in the plant. Salicylates are also understood to also be an active ingredient in asprin and is said to be the chemical compound upon which recent cancer prevention studies have focused.

The workshop will be, as for all of Greg’s workshops, entertaining, stimulating and rather controversial. Greg questions many of the accepted norms of soil biology and pest control and provides good scientific support for his thesis.

Bookings via the Gold Coast Permaculture website at or contact us at info (at)

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